Counterfeit medicines involve severe health risks that may even prove to be fatal. Even if a counterfeit medicine does not contain toxic substances, it may be ineffective and rapidly worsen the patient’s condition. Ineffective counterfeit products also cause financial losses.
The sale of falsified medicines is often linked to organised crime. A falsified medicine may have originally been produced in a legal pharmaceutical plant, but expired batches may end up in the hands of scammers and be made available in online stores.
You can avoid counterfeit products by purchasing medicines from authorised pharmacies, where falsified medicines are rare and isolated cases. As far as we know, no counterfeit products have been sold under the Orion brand.
Serialisation reduces falsification
Counterfeit products usually look exactly like the corresponding authentic products. Some falsified products are so skilfully made that even most professionals could not tell them apart from authentic products without laboratory testing. With that in mind, how have falsified medicines been prevented so successfully, particularly in the EU, where only isolated cases are detected occasionally?
Thanks to an EU-level serialisation system implemented in 2019, medicines can be identified based on serial numbers and product codes in pharmacies and other outlets. In serialisation, each legal medicinal product is saved in the EU pharmaceutical database. When a medicine goes from the pharmaceutical plant to the pharmacy and from there to the patient, the professional handling the package at each stage ensures that the medicine matches the package codes. If the system issues an alarm, the pharmaceutical operator must immediately check to see what is wrong.
One of the requirements of serialisation is that each prescription drug packet must be closed in the production stage – and it must remain securely closed until the customer opens the packet after having purchased it from a pharmacy. In other words, when you purchase prescription drugs in a pharmacy, you can check to ensure that they are genuine. If the packet has been opened, you must immediately inform the staff about this and not purchase the product.
Our trademark portfolio makes the authorities’ work easier
In addition to ensuring the accurate serialisation of our pharmaceutical products, we have protected our main products in countries where counterfeit medicines are known to be widespread. The protection makes it illegal to copy or imitate our products in these countries. This helps the authorities and people handling medicines to identify authentic Orion products and to legally intervene in the sale of falsified products. We cooperate closely with the authorities around the world to ensure the safety of all medicines.
We also prevent counterfeit medicines by highlighting the issue in our communications. This enables us to inform people about the fact that medicines should be purchased from authorised pharmacies.